A tray of seedlings

Should I Start from Seeds or Clones?

Whether you’re a backyard grower or large-scale cultivator, deciding how to start your next cannabis crop is a big decision. Some growers like to start by germinating a seed and caring for it through the seedling phase. On the other hand, some cultivators prefer cloning, which is the process of taking strong branches from a healthy mother plant and creating identical copies that are already genetically mature. Both methods have their own benefits and drawbacks, so the choice isn’t always easy. 

Read on to learn about the pros and cons of growing cannabis from seeds or clones!

Get a Fresh Start with Seeds!

Starting from seed is a rewarding experience for any grower because they get to see the development of the plant from start to finish.


  • Growing from seed keeps hitchhiker pests and diseases from transferring over from the mother plant, a common risk with clones.

  • Seeds generate a taproot, while clones do not. This allows for a stronger plant in the long run.

  • Storing, transporting, and producing your own seeds can be more cost-effective.


  • Unhealthy seeds, fluctuating temperatures, or variable moisture can lead to inconsistent germination.

  • Seeds result in genetic variation that you don’t get when working with clones, so can be hard to grow a uniform crop.

  • Seeds take longer to mature than clones. For growers who focus on quick turnaround, seeds are not the best bet. 

Get a Head Start with Clones!

Cloning cannabis from a favorite mother plant is a common practice in cultivations both big and small.


  • Clones are technically mature plants, and grow much faster than seedlings thanks to their head start.

  • Since clones are genetic copies of the mother plant, you’re guaranteed to get a female plant.

  • If you want your plants to grow in a uniform way without much genetic variance, cloning is the way to go since all the plants are genetically identical.

  • Cloning is virtually free if you have your own mother plant!


  • Cloning can transfer disease and pests from the mother plant to the clones, leading to issues in your grow early on. 

  • Because clones don’t have a taproot, they develop a weaker root system overall. 

  • Clones can be difficult to find for sale as a home grower and may be illegal to purchase in your area. 

  • Clones are delicate and can fail to put out roots if not handled with care. 

The Choice is Yours

In the end, both methods of starting cannabis can be effective--the challenge lies in deciding what’s right for your grow. With many benefits and drawbacks for each approach, it’s important to consider your grow space, your goals, and how you’ll care for the plant over the course of its life cycle. We hope this article helps you decide which way to grow for a fun and successful crop!